Medical Negligence Lawyers Campaign To Improve Maternity Safety For Families
Specialist lawyers are campaigning to improve maternity safety after a Parliamentary report concluded services have not advanced quickly enough.
The Health and Social Care Committee has today published its report into maternity safety in England. MPs said that while maternity safety had improved issues remained in a number of areas. These included “little evidence” of targets to reduce birth injuries are going to be met. There had been no significant progress in reducing the number of mums who die.
However, the report did find that “significant progress” has been made in reducing stillbirths and neo-natal deaths since 2010.
Inequalities among women from ethnic minority backgrounds and deprived backgrounds continued to be an issue, the report found. It also revealed that more than a third of Care Quality Commission ratings for maternity services identified requirements to improve safety, larger than any other medical specialty.
Maternity care requires improvement
Overall MPs concluded that maternity services ‘require improvement’.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell represents hundreds of families nationally who have been affected by issues in maternity care.
This includes the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals scandal where the Ockenden review is investigating more than 1,800 incidents of maternity deaths as well as injuries to babies and mums.
Medical negligence lawyers campaign to improve maternity safety
The law firm is campaigning to improve maternity services across the country and contributed to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence.
Guy Forster is an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who supports families affected by maternity care issues.
Expert Opinion“Patient safety should be the fundamental priority in all care. However, we continue to be deeply concerned by the first-hand accounts families tell us about issues in their maternity care.
“High profile maternity scandals stretching back almost 20 years from Morecambe Bay to failings at Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals and East Kent Hospital Trust, as well as very recent concerns around maternity care in Sheffield and Nottingham, all point to widespread and deep-rooted problems nationally.
“While the report find progress has been made in areas, including significant advancements in reducing the number of stillbirths and neo-natal deaths a lot more needs to be done across the board to improve maternity safety.
“The simple fact is that despite all the well-documented problems, not all lessons are being learned. Families not being listened to, poor foetal monitoring, under-staffing and resources are all recurring themes from the families we represent.
“Behind each case is a human story of how families have been devastated by medical errors. Of particular concern is the lack of progress around preventing birth injuries, which often leave families trying to pick up the pieces and being reliant on a life-time of specialist care for their disabled child.
“Too often in the past we’ve seen reviews and investigations into hospital care make recommendations which have taken years to implement, if at all. Many problems have also only been identified after families have taken legal action.
“While sadly it’s too late for the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated, it’s now time that decisive and meaningful action was taken to finally address issues in maternity care.
“We’ll continue to support the families we represent to provide them with all of the answers and support they deserve. We’ll also continue to campaign for improvements in maternity care, as evidenced in our submission to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence." Guy Forster - Partner
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families affected by maternity issues at our dedicated birth injuries section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.